Long gone are the days when a scratching post or toy mouse was enough to entertain your furry companion. The feline world has entered the digital age, with a plethora of games on iPad and Android tablets made specifically for your cats.
Most of them are free to download. Simply give your cat a nudge and show them the ropes; before you know it, they’ll be painting or catching digital fish like the rest of us.
So if you’re ready to inject some extra fun into your and your cat’s day, here are the best games for cats to download on your iPad or Android tablet.
1. Friskies JitterBug
This game is definitely a cat favorite. You can either choose Play Game or Advanced from the main screen. In both modes, you see a totally black screen with big bugs on it. When your cat taps a bug it disappears, but new ones enter all the time.
The game has no sound and your cat “wins” by getting all the bugs. Make sure you clean your tablet screen properly to get rid of all the paw prints afterward.
If you choose Play Game, a timer starts with various prompts and levels, which don’t really mean much to your cat. Whereas in Advanced, you can choose exactly how many bugs appear onscreen and choose to start an endless game to keep your cat entertained for hours.
2. Cat Fishing 2
If you’d rather your cat went fishing instead of catching bugs, Cat Fishing from Go-Cat is the obvious choice. The goal of this game is for your cat to tap on the fish, which makes them disappear and increases your cat’s score.
The game gets more difficult, with more fish appearing and disappearing from the screen as your cat progresses to different levels. Unfortunately, the game does end after a certain amount of time. While this might frustrate some cats, most reviewers claim their pets love this game.
3. Game for Cats
When you launch Game for Cats on your iPad or Android tablet, you see a split screen with lasers on one side and cheese on the other. The cheese option requires in-app purchases to play, but the laser option is totally free.
If your cat likes to play with a laser pointer, they’re going to love this. The laser dot moves around the screen in a surprisingly lifelike way, drawing your cat to chase after it. When your cat manages to catch the laser pointer, it blows up with a small sound and a new dot appears.
To exit the game, tap and hold the paw icon on the bottom-right while shaking your iPad (hopefully your cat can’t do this by itself).
4. Catch The Mouse Cat Game
As one of the only paid apps in this lineup, Catch the Mouse is worth the small amount you pay for it, but only if you turn off the sound.
What you get in this iPad-exclusive game is a cute orange mouse running around the screen for dear life. Unfortunately, the sounds are a bit over the top and most cats aren’t really into it. But once you mute your iPad, the game becomes much more appealing for cats.
If you don’t like the orange-on-black color scheme, there are five different background colors to choose from and three different mouse colors. So you can play around to find the best fit for your cat.
Download: Catch The Mouse Cat Game for iPadOS ($0.99)
5. Mouse for Cats
This free, 2D, high-definition iPad and Android game was built by cat lovers, for cats. With over 10 levels, the aim is—once again—to catch the on-screen mouse. This time, your cat can pin the mouse in place then let it run away again, just like in real life!
In-app purchases are available for different mice colors or noises, each of which were created specifically for your cat’s entertainment. You do need to put up with popup adds on the home screen, but they go away when you start playing.
Cycle across the different background levels or add multiple mice to keep this game engaging for your feline pals.
6. Paint for Cats
As your cat tries to catch the mouse that scurries around the screen, it’ll simultaneously paint you a masterpiece. You can choose from a variety of color palettes, and even have the option of saving or printing the finished work of art.
Given the amazing reviews this app has received, it might be justified in its claim as the “world’s best painting app for cats.”
This is the second paid app in the lineup, but there’s a slim chance you might sell your cat’s artwork to make your money back. Who knows, you might have the cat reincarnation of Jackson Pollock on your hands—Catson Pollock.
Download: Paint for Cats for iPadOS ($1.99)
7. Best Game for Cats
Similar to the other apps mentioned, the aim of this iPad-exclusive game is for your cat to catch the on-screen mice, cat bells, woolen balls, or lasers. There are also sounds to let you know how well your cat is doing without hovering over its shoulder. If the sounds annoy you, you can easily disable them.
While some games end after a certain amount of time, Best Game for Cats keeps going until you close the iPad app. It should keep your cat entertained for hours, provided the poor graphics aren’t too much of a turn off for those astute feline eyes.
Download: Best Game for Cats for iPadOS (Free)
Keep Your Cat Entertained
Although most of these iPad or Android tablet cat games follow the same formula, if one doesn’t keep your cat’s attention, try a few others. The sounds and designs all have an impact on how your cat interacts with the game; one of them is bound to work. And now that your cat is happy, why not amuse yourself with some virtual pet games.
For more, check out some of the best pet cameras on the market. These let you keep playing with your cat while you’re out of the house, using laser pointers and sounds. That way your cat never needs to know boredom again!